Are you familiar with BV?
For those of you who don't know, BV, or bacterial vaginosis, is a common vaginal infection that accounts for more than three million cases a year. It occurs when there is a bacterial imbalance within the vagina between helpful good bacteria and harmful bad bacteria. Symptoms include itching, pain, and a foul smelling fishy discharge. If it reoccurs more than four times a year, it receives the apt title of chronic, or recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
While it is more common in women that are sexually active, it is not a sexually transmitted diseaseand can happen as a result of anything that disrupts the balance of bacteria in your vagina, i.e. douching, dieting, and using some feminine care products.
For the better half (read: worse half) of my adult life, BV made her appearance both known and felt in my life, especially in my sex life. My pH balance was all the way off. As a result, any given month, I remember dreading the six to seven days of my period coming and going, and what it'd leave in its wake. The metallic smell of blood, I could take. But the fishy aroma that would immediately appear in its absence was hella embarrassing.
BV was the bane of my existence and the fact that it seemed to come back just as quickly as it seemed to leave, made me think that something was wrong with me. Because, wasn't it?
My gynecologist thought so too. I would soon come to dread stripping from the waist down to put my feet into stirrups and be examined for the very thing I knew it was, just to do the same song and dance of a 7-day twice a day antibiotic treatment, followed by one to two doses of metronidazole for the yeast infection the antibiotics created.
Mostly, I dreaded it because it always felt like a temporary solution, and never the cure that would be the remedy to my recurring BV forever.
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